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[ontolog-forum] What's "Ontology Chemistry"?

To: "[ontolog-forum] " <ontolog-forum@xxxxxxxxxxxxxxxx>
From: "Christopher Spottiswoode" <cms@xxxxxxxxxxxxx>
Date: Wed, 19 Oct 2011 14:50:03 +0200
Message-id: <D61AF206B03449D585CF5262617D5F7C@klaptop>
All,    (01)

Please first consider
http://ontolog.cim3.net/cgi-bin/wiki.pl?OntologySummit/Suggestions for
my suggestion for an agenda item at Ontology Summit 2012, involving what
we might together decide to name "The Grand Challenge of Ontology
Chemistry".    (02)

Maybe the first of your many bafflements by that suggestion is captured
in the subject-line to this post?    (03)

The chemistry metaphor evokes ontological atoms, molecules, molecular
properties and reactions, chemical pathways, all the way up to
large-scale chemical engineering, all ontology-based.    (04)

That picture may seem mere new decoration for the more familiar Software
Engineering (SE) scene of Separation of Concerns, modularization,
component architectures, component markets and application composition.    (05)

It does indeed cover all those notions, very fully too, and more.  But
it all derives closely from very fundamental though actually quite
simple O/ontology, and it will revolutionize Internet-based SE.    (06)

The key novelty at the fundamental level in the proposed new
dispensation derives from some small though crucial tweaks to current
ontological notions, or shifts of emphasis.  They will enable formal
manipulation of significant constructs with appropriate granularities.
That's where the beautiful chemistry emerges.    (07)

That will mean - as far as I can make out now (for if I'm expert in any
field it's in some mere corners of SE) - that the whole project is
surprisingly complementary with almost all present work in ontology
(after just a little bit of mutatis mutandis...).  More than that, the
Challenge product and its self-evolved descendants will serve as a
better platform for such work.  You will slip into the new clothes
almost without noticing.  No, it is the folks in SE who may have a hard
time at first.  However, the naturalness and simplicity of the new 
ecosystem will dawn on them, and their users will be making demands...    (08)

My next post or three will be a quick run through some of the many other
aspects of the enormous elephant of the whole concept of this proposed
Challenge and its defining market.  (That's the usual metaphorical
elephant in the land of the blind.)  At this stage that dot-connecting
will consist of blunt and largely unargued answers to questions I
imagine you asking.    (09)

Then with the overall picture and its delineating rationale more
apparent we'll dive into the detail and start more precisely defining
the Challenge target and designing the whole project.    (010)

Please feel free to join in at any time.  As I trace out the whole
creature I expect to be much steered by your inputs, though I'll also
reserve my right to defer my fuller answer till we more finely work on
the relevant part of the anatomy.  The project at this stage being such
an elephant to discover, there will be grey areas left as well (though
some of them daubed in rainbow colours), but they'll be justified as
such, and hey, we may after all anticipate creative contributions from
the Challenge accepters too (and from all the users, universally, in due
course).    (011)

Closer to here and now, I have come to you because the project would at
this stage greatly benefit from being housed in a team with its
individual and collective insights and outputs.   I would also
particularly welcome a project leader.  I'm sure there's great scope for
good chemistry in these HR areas too.    (012)

Christopher    (013)

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